Inasmuch as the city is considering changes to its water rate protocol, I suggest it consider adding a small measure that will improve service and safety, and most likely reduce cost to water users. My suggestion is that the annual mandatory testing of backflow prevention devices be done by the city (or its contractors) and that the cost be added to the homeowner’s water bill.
Currently, homeowners are required to hire an approved contractor to test backflow devices and send certification to the city. I’m curious as to what percentage of water users actually do this. In my case, I have duly arranged for the testing and certification in recent years. But earlier, I didn’t know about the requirement — quite possibly because of my own inattention. It was not done and there were no consequences.
If backflow prevention is truly a public health and safety issue, it should be accomplished rigorously — most logically by the City of Bend Water Division. Doing it on a methodical street-by-street basis would assure thoroughness and reduce cost to homeowners. Existing firms that perform this service might contract to do it for the city and enjoy more business than under the current hit-and-miss scheme.